Striking health care workers in Buffalo have a tentative deal, this week in the war on workers

Striking health care workers in Buffalo have a tentative deal, this week in the war on workers

Around 2,000 health care workers at South Buffalo Mercy Hospital have been on strike since Oct. 1. Now, they have a tentative agreement and picket lines are suspended while the workers vote whether to ratify the contract. The continuing John Deere strike is a reminder that workers sometimes vote down agreements that their union leaders bring them, but the Communications Workers of America hailed the tentative deal as a win, and from the summary the union offered, it looks like one.

Not only did the workers beat back efforts to cut their health care benefits and get a significant raise over the course of the contract, but they won safe staffing ratios for the first time, with the new staffing levels to be fully implemented by January 1, 2023. That’s a significant advance for the workers and, of course, it’s also a win for patients who will be guaranteed care from workers who aren’t stretched across too many patients.

● FedEx is fiercely non-union. UPS workers are unionized. Guess which of the delivery companies is having labor shortage problems. Yep, the one that keeps its wages low and turnover high.

● Teachers strike against a “heartless” school board in President Biden’s hometown, Barbara Madeloni reports.

The union has been without a contract for four years. In the last two years, they have lost 100 colleagues, either because the positions were cut or because educators have left, fed up with the board’s disinvestment in the schools.

The cuts to librarians, related arts classes, and music especially impact the students who need them most, who are least likely to have access to these activities through their families. “We are a very diverse community,” said high school English teacher Adam McCormick. “There is a wide range of socioeconomic levels. The school district has to provide opportunities for students. And they haven’t. Opportunities for students are more and more limited.”

● The New Orleans city council has passed responsible contractor requirements, two years after the Hard Rock collapse that killed three workers.

● IATSE workers will vote on whether to ratify their proposed contract starting November 12, with results coming November 15.

● Hamilton Nolan writes, Mississippi believes it can be organized. Does anybody else? 

● Important:

Deere UAW workers are speaking up against being characterized as “greedy” for turning down a contract with a $2 raise. Here’s one viral Facebook post that lays out how many strikers are feeling. Worth a read.

— Jonah Furman (@JonahFurman) November 5, 2021


NEW: As 10,000 John Deere workers are on strike, UAW members are furious at union leadership for contracts that favor corporations and have led to a decline in membership. Now @UAWD_Reform is fighting to democratize UAW and throw out leaders with a history of corruption.

— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) November 3, 2021

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